“A great fig should look like it’s just about to burst its skin. When squeezed lightly it should give a little and not spring back. It must be almost unctuously sweet, soft and wet.”
My neighbor Marty opened his garden to me today and I picked some gorgeous Russian lettuce. Totally unknown to me, Marty touted its powerhouse health benefits in green smoothies. Russian lettuce has more of the texture of kale so I created a recipe using it in a hearty salad with honey balsamic roasted figs, herbed chèvre, toasted pistachios and some crispy prosciutto which is totally optional but pairs perfectly with the figs. The vinaigrette was made with orange juice, honey and dijon. A delicious salad to ease summertime flavors into fall!
Roasted Honey Balsamic Fig Salad with Goat Cheese and Pistachios
15 fresh figs, cut in half
2 T honey
2 T aged balsamic vinegar
6 c of hearty salad greens(kale, arugula, Russian lettuce)
5 oz herbed goat cheese
4 T pistachios, toasted
2 oz of prosciutto or bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
Dressing: 1/2 c orange juice, 1/4 c honey, 1 T dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic minced, 1/4 c olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. In a small jar, combine all the ingredients and shake well.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. On a foil or parchment lined sheet, place the figs, cut size up, and drizzle with the honey. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.
To toast the pistachios, heat them over medium heat until fragrant, a minute or 2. Watch closely to not burn. Remove from heat and reserve. Using the same pan. cook the prociutto or bacon if using, until crisp. Crumble and reserve.
To assemble the salad: on a rimmed platter, spread the lettuce and toss with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Scatter evenly with the herbed goat cheese. Set the roasted figs on top. Sprinkle with the pistachios and finish with the crumbled prociutto and a few grinds of pepper.